Category Archives: Biomass

60 minutes promotes biomass scam

Preface. Hey 60 minutes, do some fact checking first. Alice Friedemann   www.energyskeptic.com  author of “When Trucks Stop Running: Energy and the Future of Transportation”, 2015, Springer and “Crunch! Whole Grain Artisan Chips and Crackers”. Podcasts: Practical Prepping, KunstlerCast 253, KunstlerCast278, … Continue reading

Posted in Biomass, Far Out | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Book: John Perlin’s “A Forest Journey: The Story of Wood and Civilization”

Preface.  This contains excerpts from John Perlin’s “A Forest Journey: The Story of Wood and Civilization”. It’s one of my favorite books about natural resources, exploring the role wood has played in the rise and fall of civilizations since they … Continue reading

Posted in Collapse of Civilizations, Collapsed, Deforestation, Life Before Oil, Limits To Growth, Peak Resources, Soil, Wood | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Power density of biomass, wind, & solar take too much land to replace fossil fuels

Preface. Vaclav Smil writes “The fact that wind, solar, and biomass have incredibly low energy density per square meter means that a fully renewable system to replace the 320 GW of fossil fueled electricity generation and 1.8 TW of coal, … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Energy, Biomass, Coal, Hydropower, Natural Gas, Oil | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Vaclav Smil on wood

[ I’ve extracted bits about wood from Smil’s book about materials below, read the book for the larger context.  Enormous amounts of wood were used in former civilizations with much smaller populations than today, so it’s clear we can’t go … Continue reading

Posted in Vaclav Smil, Wood | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Overview of the renewable fuel standard, U.S. House hearing 2013

House 113-61. June 26, 2013. Overview of the renewable fuel standard: Government perspectives. House of Representatives. [Excerpts from the 104 page transcript follow] Key points: The implicit premise that cellulosic and other advanced biofuels would be available in significant quantities … Continue reading

Posted in Renewable fuel standard RFS, Transportation | Comments Off on Overview of the renewable fuel standard, U.S. House hearing 2013

Peak soil: Industrial agriculture destroys ecosystems and civilizations. Biofuels make it worse.

Alice Friedemann. 2017. Peak Soil.  Last update Oct 23, 2017, first 2007 [ Formerly titled: Why Biofuels are Not Sustainable and a Threat to America’s National Security.  Shorter versions appear in the following books: Jacqueline Langwith, ed. 2008.  “Opposing Viewpoints: Renewable … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Energy, Biofuels, Biomass, Energy, Peak Biofuels, Soil, Soil | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

No, we’re not going to make ethanol out of CO2 and stop global warming

Preface.  In the article below Robert Rapier debunks the research paper proposing to convert CO2 into ethanol.  The researchers were honest and said “that the process is unlikely to be economically viable.” But the press spun it into a major … Continue reading

Posted in Biofuels, Biomass EROI, Critical Thinking, Far Out, Other Experts | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Steam powered farm tractors

[ Steam engines weren’t very efficient, 10 to 20% at best, which is why they went away beginning around 1920 when oil-powered engines came along.  At the very best steam engines for transportation reached 10 to 20% efficiency. They were … Continue reading

Posted in Biomass-powered Steam Engines | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Why studies come up with different Energy Returned on Invest (EROI) results: can it be fixed?

[ There are many issues with biofuels beyond their trivial to negative energy return on investment (EROI). In Peak Soil I point out that current industrial farming techniques are destroying topsoil about 15 times faster than pre-fossil fuel economies — … Continue reading

Posted in Biofuels, Biomass EROI, Charles A. S. Hall | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Why studies come up with different Energy Returned on Invest (EROI) results: can it be fixed?

How burning biomass made us human

[ This is a book review of Wrangham’s “Catching Fire: How cooking made us human”. Fire enabled us to have larger brains from the increased calories in cooked food, held carnivores at bay, killed bacteria, and gave us many other … Continue reading

Posted in Energy, Evolution, Health, Wood | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on How burning biomass made us human